Friday, July 30, 2010

The Catalan parliament voted to ban bullfighting, and that was the first story on Wednesday's Newsround at 5pm.

Ore: Some people call it a traditional Spanish sport. Others just say it's animal cruelty. We're talking about bullfighting. It's been popular in Spain for centuries.

Leah: But now people in one part of the country, Catalonia, in the north east of Spain say they've had enough. And today they voted to ban it. (video report followed)

Leah: Well we're joined now by Mike Baker, Head of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, who's been campaigning to get bullfighting banned. So Mike, Catalonia: we've seen the ban there. Are you hoping that it spreads right across Spain?

Mike: Well yeah, very much so. One of the encouraging things about this is that 180,000 people from Catalonia petitioned their parliament. They got them, forced it onto the agenda, and got their politicians to change their minds and ban the sport. And we know that it's not popular in the rest of Spain too, so we hope that that will follow.

Ore: Well what would you say, Mike, to the people that say bullfighting is a traditional sport - it should stay?

Mike: Well tradition isn't really an excuse for cruelty, we don't think. But also traditions and cultures change. And that's what we're seeing now. The new generation don't like them, they don't want be associated with that. That's why we're seeing people like Carles Puyol, the World Cup football star, coming out and supporting a ban.

Leah: But for people whose jobs are now ended, and schools that have to close - bullfighting schools - what d'you say to them?

Mike: We can actually see what happens. Because there have been other places that have banned it in a smaller way, in towns and cities in Portugal, Ecuador, Colombia, even the Canary Islands. And we know for a fact there that the economies haven't suffered. And they've done that without cruelty.

Ore: Mike, thank you very much for coming in. Cheers.

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